Action Adventure

Matrix Runner [Sega VR – Cancelled]

Matrix Runner is a cancelled action adventure game that was in development in 1992 / 1993 by ZCT Systems Group for the Sega VR add-on based on the Mega Drive / Genesis. Players had to explore the cyberspace and to resolve various puzzles to try to capture a murderer. The concept (and the title) of the game is really similar to Free Runner, a cancelled adventure for the Saturn, but as far as we know, the developers are different. It could be just an huge coincidence, or maybe someone from ZTC Systems went to work to Rebellion and resurrected their old project.

Only a single screenshot of Matrix Runner was found by Rod_Wod and Celine in some old magazines. If you know someone that worked on this game, please let us know!


Hyouryuu Shounen Keith [GB – Cancelled]

Hyouryuu Shounen Keith (Castaway Boy Keith) is a cancelled action RPG that was in development in 1990 by Epic / Sony for the original GameBoy. The project looked a lot like Zelda: Link’s Awakening, but Keith was in the works 3 years before Nintendo’s title. The game’s plot was also similar to Link’s Awakening, as Keith sank on a small island called Harrods Is, where he had to  complete dungeons and find musical notes to defeat the final boss.

In november 2009 Chris Covell was able to scan an article about Keith from an old Famitsu magazine and you can find more info and images at his website.


Cave Story (Doukutsu Monogatari) [Beta]

Cave story (Doukutsu Monogatari in Japan) is a freeware platform / adventure indie-game released in 2004 for PC and a WiiWare port by Nicalis in 2010. It was designed and programmed over 5 years by Daisuke Amaya, art-name Pixel, in his free time. A classic by almost every sense of the word. I say almost, because despite it’s pixelated graphics, Cave Story is actualy a modern game, with a deliberate old school feel. However, as with most good games, trial and error are required, and in the end, some things are left out. Cave Story is no different. At one point, the main character, Quote, was Curly Brace. That name later moved to a girl. Sue didn’t always look like she does, several areas just didn’t make the cut, and some tiles just weren’t used in the final game. There’s plenty to see in the images below. 

Free Runner [Saturn – Cancelled]

Free Runner is a cancelled action adventure (?) that was in development in 1995 by Rebellion for the Sega Saturn. There are not many info about its gameplay, but a little background on the story and a couple of screenshots from a target render were found by Rod_Wod in an old Sega Power magazine. It seems that in Free Runner players would had take the role of a cyber hacker, who had to surf the net to investigate a brutal real-world killing. The game was shown (?) in some form at E3 1995.

If you know someone that worked on this game and could help us to preserve more info and media, please let us know!

Thanks to Rod_Wod for the contribution!


Splash Dive [PS2 – Cancelled]

Splash Dive is a cancelled action adventure game similar to Ecco the Dolphin, that was in development in 1999 by SCEI  for the Playstation 2. The project was meant to be one of the first PS2 launch titles and it was even featured in the early console tech demos but something went wrong during the development and in the end Splash Dive was never released. From IGN we can read an interview with Splash Dive’s producer Kaoru Hagiwara:

HPPS2EX: First of all, what kind of game is Splash Dive?

KH: If you look at the screenshots, I think you’ll understand that its a game about the ocean featuring dolphins. We’re selling it as an action game. Not action-adventure, action. Players control the dolphin and try and make friends with other dolphins. Swimming at full speed, jumping above the water: I think it will have a refreshing sense of action to it. When you talk about games and the sea, adventure and simulations come to mind. There have been lots of games that feature floating or searching for fish, so we thought, “How can we create a new, refreshing kind of action?”

HPPS2EX: I see. The basic objective of the game is to become good friends with other dolphins, but what exactly do you do to accomplish this?

KH:The key will be what the player does, but the excitement of discovering what to do, is something that I would like to keep quiet.

HPPS2EX: In Splash Dive, you will be able to enjoy dolphins and their form of communication, right?

KH: Dolphins, have their own form of communication, which is very different from humans. One type is voice. Kind of like “Dolphinese.” We’re trying to put in all of these into the game as best as we can. We don’t want to have a dolphin specialist look at the game and say “That’s not right!” Therefore, we’re really working on the dolphins’ appearance and the way they sound.

Thanks to Celine for the contribution! If you are able to find that old Spash Dive video, let us know!